As many of my friends and family members already know, depression is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. I suffered a traumatic brain injury during my sophomore year of high school, and shortly afterward was sent down a spiral of depression and anxiety that would last almost 4 years. During this time I put on over 60 pounds due to inactivity. I spent 2 weeks in an outpatient facility for clinical depression, and nearly took my life on several occasions. I had no desire to take care of myself, nor much of anything for that matter.
This all began to change during my sophomore year of college. I started going to the school's gym to work out on a nearly daily basis, I lost around 70 pounds, I started making friends, and my quality of life began to improve dramatically. I can attribute that all to my newfound love of physical activity. During this time, although I was working out a lot, I had yet to truly discover the world of trail running and the joy it would bring me.
Since graduating from college, trail running has become an ever-present part of my life. It has had an enormous effect on my mental health. Running for me has become a form of meditation. I feel at peace with my thoughts, the world around me, and the challenges I've yet to face. I ran my first trail half marathon in August of 2017, my first trail marathon in March 2018, my first ultra the next month, my first 50 miler in September 2018, and my first 100K in December 2018. Now, it's time for me to take on my next challenge.
On May 17th, 2019, I will be toeing the line at the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 mile run in Fort Valley, Virginia. This will be the culmination of months of training and hard work. As this race means so much to me, my aim is to spread the love and help raise funds for the fantastic folks at Depression2Extinction to aid in all the amazing work they do to end the stigma of depression and anxiety. Please consider joining me in the fight against these stigmas so that one day, we may send Depression2Extinction.